Why should brands invest in speaking to the new audiences in Australia? This is a question often asked by marketers. And there can be no better answer than what I see outside Emporium Melbourne at 5:00 am this fairly chilly morning. There are more than 60 young Asians already waiting patiently in the queue to purchase the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 –new Kanye West sneakers.

They look pretty well settled in their light fold up chairs, and look like they may have been there all night. A $250 pair can be sold online I am told by one informed youngster for $600 – a tidy profit. I take a quick walk before heading to the airport and watch a deal being done. One young guy sold his place in the queue for $200 to another punter.

I get into my taxi and the young Indian taxi driver tells me wistfully that if he was not driving his taxi and was free from his university class later on in the day, he would be in the queue too. “What is so special about these shoes?” I ask him.

He waves me off – not disrespectfully, but quite honestly. “Oh, you wouldn’t understand. You wouldn’t like those shoes. But for us, they are limited edition, wonderful shoes! It’s the brand.”

“How did you find out about them?” I ask, curiously.

“Anyone from China or India knows about them already,” is his reply.

Brands – especially those that are new to these audiences – need to be in conversation with new audiences, especially when they first come to Australia. Their disposable income cannot be underestimated. 

I ask the young international student driving me to the airport what he studies in university and he answers ‘civil engineering’. What does he want to do?

“Start my own business when I get back, perhaps I can also do something with Australia too, among other countries.”

Apologies Mr Dick Smith. It is clear that international students and migrants are fantastic for the Australian economy.

This is the second in a series of ‘We are Global’ blogs.

By Sheba Nandkeolyar, CEO, MultiConnexions

(Image source: The Weekly Review)

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